One NBA executive recently spoke about what the future could hold for Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young and mentioned the Lakers as a possible landing spot for the guard next season.
“They went out and got tradeable pieces,” the executive told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney. “If the Hawks don’t make a move in the summer, the Lakers would be a possibility next season. It would take a lot, and things would have to align just right for that. I also don’t buy that every guy who signs with Klutch is going to the Lakers, that is obviously not the case. But this is one they have been watching.
“The Hawks could look into the market on Young, but the thing is, it is not going to be as strong as they’d like. He has flaws, a lot of them, and they’ve sort of been exposed in the last couple of years. I am not sure how many real bidders Atlanta would get if they put him on the market, but it probably not as many as they think.”
The Lakers currently have a capable starting point guard in D’Angelo Russell, but he’s set to become a free agent this offseason. Moreover, the one-time All-Star has been iffy so far in the 2023 postseason, giving some fans doubts about whether he’s going to hold up when it matters most.
Young just finished his fifth NBA regular season, and he’s under contract through at least the 2025-26 campaign. He’s a two-time All-Star, and during the 2022-23 regular season, he averaged 26.2 points, 10.2 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game.
The former lottery pick is undoubtedly a special talent. However, the Lakers would certainly need to do plenty of homework before making a push for a player like Young. At the end of the day, he’s another high-usage guard who likes to have the ball in his hands.
Given how the Russell Westbrook experiment unfolded for Los Angeles, the Lakers definitely need to be careful about who they add to the mix. It’s worth noting, however, that Young is a better shooter than Westbrook, which would likely go a long way toward alleviating fit concerns.
There’s been buzz about the Lakers keeping their current group together next season, which would mean re-signing the 27-year-old Russell. If they were to do that, it would probably decrease the likelihood of Young being traded to L.A.
For now, the Lakers will continue to spend their energy on their playoff series against the Grizzlies as they look to make a deep postseason run.